© 2005-2010 Julien Gregg
All Rights Reserved


Chapter 2


At eight-thirty the next morning, Skyler was dressed in his best outfit that wasn't dress clothes, standing in front of the Los Angeles Hilton. His head shot was in his hand and his knees were wobbling. There were quite a few young guys around the hotel. Most were his age or younger. He supposed that they were all there for the audition, too. None of them paid any attention to him. However the sight of them made him more nervous. He supposed that he should have known there would be more people at the audition than just him. After all Milton Drake had talked about four parts.

He went inside and stood in the lobby for a few seconds to try and calm his nerves. He kept telling himself that he would get through this. He didn't really want a part, and it would be over and done with before much longer. He could go back to the dorm then and Mark and everyone would razz him about not getting the part. He could live with that though. What made him nervous was the fear that he might actually get a call back or worse, a part.

What he didn't notice was that he was being watched by another man from across the lobby. Brian Krause played Phillip Cutler on the show and he was supposed to be helping them decide on the right person for the role of Logan Cutler, the long lost Cutler heir. He noticed Skyler because the guy looked so nervous. He thought that at any moment he'd run from the lobby and never come back. It was obvious that this was either his very first audition or he was a nervous person. If it was his first audition Brian could understand the nerves. If it wasn't then this guy would never be able to stand being on the show.

He walked over to him and stood quietly for a few minutes, waiting for the guy to notice him. It was always the same at these auditions. The star hungry men and women who came to these casting calls always got excited when they saw someone from the show. Brian suspected that his presence would either deepen the guy's nervousness or cure it by giving him something else to think about.

Skyler paid no attention to the man standing a few feet from him. He was more worried about just getting the audition over with and getting back to his normal life. He couldn't believe that he'd actually consented to coming to this audition. He'd had fun acting in high school but this was the real world, or a reasonable facsimile of it. He had Civics and Accounting to worry about. He had no business traipsing all over LA to audition for parts. What had he been thinking?

"Are you here for the audition?" the silent observer from a few feet away asked finally.

"Yes," said Skyler, turning to face the man. He was momentarily shocked to find Brian Krause standing in front of him but he recovered quickly. "Milton Drake asked me to come."

"So you must be the guy from the diner," said Brain, smiling. "He's talked about you."

"He has?" asked Skyler, forgetting his nerves for a second and really paying attention to Brian. "Did he happen to mention that I'm a college student and not an actor?"

"So this is your first audition?" asked Brian with a smile and a look on his face. What was that, relief?

"Well I've acted in plays and things like that," replied Skyler. "That was in high school though. This is the first time I've ever come to a casting call."

"Just relax," said Brain, holding out his hand. "I'm Brian and I'm from the show. You can go upstairs with me if you want."

"Skyler Thomas," replied Skyler, shaking Brian's hand and trying not to laugh at his obvious statements.

"Is that your resume?" asked Brian, pointing to the envelope in Skyler's other hand.

"Resume?" asked Skyler. "I wasn't told to bring a resume. Fact is, I wasn't told to bring anything. This is a head shot. I've seen a lot of my dorm mates carrying these off to auditions before so I thought I'd need one."

"Well it isn't really necessary," said Brian. "This is your first audition and Milton hand picked you himself. But it shows that you're serious. A lot of people bring a resume of their acting work along too."

"But I've only done plays in high school," Skyler reminded him. "I don't think that would impress anyone simply because it was written on a resume."

Brian liked him. He was smart and funny when he wasn't letting his nerves pound him into acting like a scared five year old. He could see why Milton had picked him. He'd fit right in with the "Cutlers" if he was cast. Now all he had to know was if the guy could act. He supposed he'd see soon enough. He motioned for Skyler to follow him as he headed for the elevator.

As they rode in the elevator, Brian asked Skyler questions about himself. He rather liked the guy when he wasn't nervous, and keeping his mind occupied seemed to solve that problem. He told him that he was a college student, studying business and finance, he was in his Freshman year and he'd come from Detroit. When Brian asked about his family, Skyler only talked about a younger brother and sister. Brian wondered why he never mentioned his mother and father.

When the elevator stopped Skyler followed Brian to a banquette room where lots of young men and women were either seated in rows of chairs or talking excitedly. He could tell that most of them knew each other so he suspected that they'd all done this a thousand times or more. He made up his mind that he wasn't going to give anyone anything to laugh at him over, and he finally managed to get a handle on his nerves. He was smiling easier when Brian showed him where to take his head shot and sign in.

"I've got to go to the other room," Brian informed him. "I'll tell Milton that you're here. It shouldn't be too long. When you're done you can have a seat. They'll call you when it's your turn."

"Thanks," said Skyler.

"Did Milton tell you to audition for a specific part?" asked Brian, turning as he was about to walk away.

"No, he just asked me to come here and audition," he replied.

"Oh, well I'm sure they'll decide when you get in there," said Brian. "I'll see you in a little while. Nice to meet you, Skyler."

"Same here," replied Skyler with a smile. They were coming easier now.

He watched Brian walk across the room and into another room. He closed the door as he walked through it so Skyler didn't get to see much of the room. Instead he focused on the two desks that Brian had pointed out to him where he was supposed to sign in. Behind the first was an older woman with dark hair that was graying heavily. She kept it tied back from her face and her glasses covered most of her face.

At the other desk there was a man of about mid to late fifties with sandy colored hair that was only graying at the temples. He had an open smile and he actually looked at everyone when they came up to him. Skyler thought he looked like a father and went to get into his line. Fathers were a mystery to Skyler.

His own father had abandoned them when Skyler was only three years old. He barely remembered Ben Thomas. His only memory of him was a big red ball that he'd gotten for his third birthday. His mother told him all sorts of things about his father though. According to her his father was an abusive man that never wanted children. She said that he'd walked out when he learned that she was having the twins, and she hadn't heard from him since.

He didn't really want to believe his mother though. After all of the years of her yelling at him, telling him he would never amount to anything, he didn't want to believe her about anything. She'd let Chuck basically beat him from the time he was five until the day he'd left for college. How could he believe anything she said?

Still his father had made no attempts to contact him that he knew of. Where was the man? Skyler had hoped that he would somehow show up at graduation. He could have mixed with the throng of other parents that gushed over their children as they accepted diplomas. Where was Skyler's father?

"Name," said the fatherly looking man behind the desk, breaking Skyler's train of thought.

"Skyler Thomas," he replied after a short pause.

"Is that your head shot?" asked the man, nodding at the envelope in Skyler's hand.

"Yes, sir," replied Skyler.

"All right, I need you to fill this out," said the man, handing him a packet of papers. "When you're finished just bring it back up here with your picture and we'll get you ready."

"Thank you," replied Skyler before walking over to a table to sit and look over the packet.

It was filled with questions he couldn't really answer. He had no agent so he couldn't write the name of his agent or agency in the space provided for that. He had no real acting experience, but he wrote down every play he'd ever had so much as the tiniest part in while in high school. He even tried to remember the names of every teacher that had worked on each play. He didn't know if that was what they were looking for or not. But at lease he had something to write down.

The rest of the packet was pretty simple. He'd never been bonded so that section didn't apply to him. He wasn't currently working so that wasn't a problem. He listed his address as the dorm address at the college. He left the permanent address blank. He didn't want to be connected with Detroit in any ways that he didn't have to be.

When he was finished he took the packet and picture back up to the man at the desk. His name plate read Donald Portman. Donald took the packet and picture, stapled the envelope containing the picture to the packet and told Skyler to have a seat. He said that the auditions had begun and they'd call his name when they were ready for him.

Skyler looked at his watch. It was still ten minutes before nine. Milton had said to be there at nine so maybe he only had ten minutes to wait. He walked over and sat in an empty chair. Other young men and women in his section were talking animatedly. None of them paid much attention to Skyler and he didn't think he knew any of them, so he didn't try to start a conversation with anyone.

He sat there and watched as one by one, each of the people in his group were called into the room that Brian Krause had gone into. His watch showed him that nine had come and gone and by ten he was still sitting in the same chair. All of the people in his section were gone and they'd started calling the second section in. Skyler was beginning to think that he might never get called into the room.

"Skyler Thomas," called a woman's voice as the door opened again, and Skyler stood.

He walked over to the door, carefully holding on to his nerves and smiled at the woman. She was at least forty years old with red hair that she had pulled back and very green eyes. She smiled warmly at him and stepped aside to let him into the room. There were five other people in the room and the only two that Skyler knew at all were Milton Drake and Brian Krause.

He noticed the camera right away. It wasn't a huge thing like he saw on behind the scenes shows on television and he tried to put it out of his mind. The young guy behind the camera smiled warmly at him. He was attractive, and Skyler smiled back. The guy had dark hair that was cut very short and his blue eyes sparkled.

"This is Skyler Thomas," said Milton Drake as Skyler came into the room. "He's a student at one of the local colleges. Now he tells me that he's had no formal training and has only acted in high school productions."

"Hello, Skyler," said another woman who was seated beside Milton Drake. She could have been Dianne's double. She had the same dark hair and gray eyes as Dianne, but her hair was to her shoulders and not pinned back. Unlike Dianne, this woman had little wrinkles at the corners of her eyes. She smiled warmly at him. "This is going to be what we call a cold audition. Ordinarily you would have picked up an audition script from your agent."

"I don't have one," he said quietly, not taking his eyes off of her.

"That's all right," she replied. "My name is Laura Ullman and I'm going to act as your agent while we do the audition. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them."

"Thanks," he replied. "I don't think I have any so far."

"Great," she said, smiling. "Let's get started. Now Milton has a sheet for you to read. All we want you to do is read the lines on the paper. Brian here will be reading his part."

"Try to put as much emotion into the lines as you can, Skyler," said Milton Drake. "The attitude of the scene is anger. You're going to be arguing with Brian about being his brother. Just try to pretend that it's real."

He read the lines on the sheet of paper and smiled. He was reading the lines of Logan Cutler. Mark and Shelly would be pleased to hear that they were finally bringing Logan into the show. He couldn't wait to tell them that he'd auditioned for the part. They'd be excited just to hear that no matter if he got the part or not.

"Ready?" asked Laura as Brian stepped around the table and faced him.

"Sure," replied Skyler, trying to do exactly what his drama coach in high school had taught him. He cleared his mind and blocked out everyone else in the room. That part was easy. He was still aware of the camera though. He tried to ignore it.

"What makes you think that you can just walk in here off the street and claim to be my brother?" demanded Brian, reading the lines on the sheet.

"I didn't just walk in here off the street," replied Skyler, trying to sound defiant. "You're the one who hired an investigator to find me."

"I didn't hire anyone to find you," Brian said heatedly. "I hired an investigator to find my brother. What makes you think you're him?"

"Look," sighed Skyler, running his fingers through his hair. "I don't know what's going on here. I just came here because Tom told me that you wanted to meet me. Believe me, I hope I'm not your brother."

"Why is that?" demanded Brian, glaring at him.

"Oh I don't know," said Skyler sarcastically. "Could it be that if I were your brother, I'd have to admit to being related to you? I know all about you, Phillip. Anyone with eyes and ears anywhere in Virginia knows all about Phillip Cutler."

"What's that supposed to mean?" fired Brian. "Do you think you can just walk in here and insult me?"

"Look," said Skyler. "This isn't going the right way."

"You're damned right its not," snapped Brian. "Go on and find another wealthy family to suck the life and money out of. You're not my brother."

"That's fine with me," Skyler said coldly. "I wouldn't want to be a part of this family."

They'd come to the end of the lines on the paper, and Brian was smiling at him. Skyler smiled back and for a minute, he felt like he belonged there. He couldn't believe he'd done it. It hadn't been half as hard as he'd thought it was going to be. He wasn't sure what he'd actually expected but it wasn't just walking into a room and reading lines on a piece of paper.

"That was great, Skyler," said Milton Drake. "You did just what I asked you to do."

"It was really good, Skyler," agreed Laura, nodding her head.

"You've given us a number to reach you," said Milton, looking over the packet of papers that Skyler had filled out. "We'll definitely be in touch."

"Thank you," replied Skyler.

"No, thank you," said Milton, smiling at him.

Before he knew it he was back downstairs and standing in front of the hotel. His mind was spinning and he still couldn't believe he'd actually auditioned. Milton had said they'd be in touch. Skyler imagined that they said that to each and every person who auditioned for them. What he hadn't expected was the feeling he got reading those lines. He'd felt exhilarated and excited. It was like he'd done it a million times and he loved it. That was the part that he hadn't expected. He hadn't expected to like it.

He stopped in at McLintock's on his way back to the dorm. He was hoping to find Dianne working but Mary was there instead. She was a grandmotherly type with grey hair and a soft smile. She greeted him warmly and took his order. Skyler was dying to tell someone about the audition but he ordered his food and waited in silence until it arrived.

The whole time he ate his burger and fries he couldn't stop thinking about the audition. He couldn't believe how great it had felt to stand there and read a few lines off of a sheet of paper. Maybe it was the fact that Brian Krause was standing in front of him, reading the lines marked, "Phillip". That had made it all seem real to Skyler. He couldn't believe it.

He paid for his meal, left a tip and got a warm hug from Mary before he left the diner. He walked straight back to campus and to his room but Mark wasn't there. Looking at his watch, Skyler realized that Mark was at work so he had to sit there by himself for a few minutes. He thought about calling Chad and Cassie to tell them all about it but before he could decide, there was a knock at his door. He opened it to find Linda standing on the other side. She was smiling expectantly.

"So?" she said when he stepped aside to let her into the room. "How'd it go, Sky?"

"It was amazing," he chuckled. "I couldn't believe it. Brian Krause was there and he read the lines with me. Linda, it felt like I was already on the show!"

"Brian Krause was there?" she asked. "What's he like?"

"Well I don't know really," he admitted. "I talked to him for a little bit before the audition but I can't remember a thing we said to each other. I just keep thinking about the audition!"

"You got bit," she laughed.

"Bit?"

"The acting bug," she explained. "You loved it and yesterday you were talking about how you didn't really want a part on the show. You acted like it was all a big bother."

He supposed he had been bitten. She was right about the day before. He'd not wanted anything to do with a part on the show the previous night. Now he was hoping that they called him back He was actually hoping that they offered him the part. He couldn't believe how much his mind had changed after the audition.

"Last night I didn't know how great it was going to feel," he laughed.

"Well what part did you audition for?" she asked. "Who's leaving the show?"

"Leaving?" he asked, looking at her for a second. "Why do you think anyone's leaving the show?"

"Because the only new character that they could possibly bring in right now has been talked about for a year," she said. "If they haven't brought Dawn's missing brother into the show by now I don't think they ever will. So that means that if no one new is coming then someone already there needs to be replaced."

"You can relax," he chuckled. "As far as I know no one is leaving the show, and I did read for a brand new character."

She stood there looking at him for a minute. That expectant look was on her face again and he chuckled at her. He loved this, and she had to know that he was going to milk it a little. After all when was the last thing that he'd done anything this exciting? Never. The most exciting day of his life up to this one, had been the day he'd opened his mail from the college to be informed that his application had been approved and his scholarship would pay for most of his tuition. This was bigger than that.

"Oh come on, Skyler," she moaned when he was silent too long. "What role did you read?"

"It's the missing brother," he said, smiling at her. "If I get the part I'll be playing Logan Cutler."

"His name is Logan?" she asked excitedly. "See, Sarah and I both thought that Tim was Dawn's brother because he kept trying to stop her from searching for him."

"I don't know who Tim is because I've never watched the more than three episodes of the show all the way through," laughed Skyler.

"Well if you get the part, you'll know about what's happening before any of us do," she laughed. "You better not forget all of us when you become a star, Skyler Thomas."

"I'd never do that," he laughed. He realized that he didn't say he wouldn't be a star this time though.

She stayed for a bit longer, telling him more about the show she said he would most likely be working on very soon. It made him laugh but he secretly hoped she was right. He really did want the part now that he'd auditioned for it. He just didn't know how his life would be changed if he got it. He still wasn't comfortable being looked at by everyone but he supposed he'd deal with that when the time came. All he could really think about was getting the role of Logan Cutler.

After Linda left a string of people stopped by to congratulate him on the audition and wish him luck with the part. By the time Mark came home from work Skyler was sick of seeing people. He wanted to just lock the door and pretend not to be there. Seeing Mark got him excited again though. He told him all about the audition as soon as he was in the room with the door closed.

"You met Brian Krause?" asked Mark. "That's really cool. What was he like?"

"Like anyone else I guess," said Skyler. "I don't really remember anything we said to each other before the audition."

"They said they'd be in touch with you?" he asked, smiling.

"That's what Milton Drake said," he replied. "I think they say that to everyone who auditions though."

"Skyler, I'm so happy that you went to the audition," said Mark. "I didn't think you'd actually go through with it."

"Neither did I," admitted Skyler. "I'm glad I did though."

While Mark was in the shower Skyler went down to use the telephone. He tried to call Cassie and Chad but his step-father answered the phone and wouldn't let him talk to them. He tried very hard to make Skyler feel bad but nothing was pulling him down that day. He just asked his step-father to tell the twins he'd called. He knew he wouldn't but there wasn't anything more he could do about it.

He went with Mark and Shelly back to the diner that night for supper. Shelly insisted on paying, saying it was her way of congratulating him on the audition. He just smiled and blushed. Mary was happy to see them and they were seated at a booth while she took their order. Skyler wasn't extremely hungry, so he ordered light.

"So now you're going to be a television star," said Shelly once Mary was gone from the booth.

"I don't know about that," he said, smiling. "It was just an audition."

"Wouldn't it be great if you got the part though?" she asked. "We'd be able to watch you every week."

"It would be nice," he agreed. "I'm not holding my breath though."

"He's being pessimistic again," laughed Mark, kicking Skyler under the table. "I told you to stop that, Sky."

"And I still say I'm being realistic," protested Skyler, rubbing his shin. "How many people do you know that go to audition after audition and are still here?"

"He's right about that," said Shelly. "But, Sky, you've just got to get the part. I don't know why I feel that way but I do."

"It's because he'll fit in with Brian Krause, Kristy Swanson and Gabrielle Landy," said Mark. "He's got blond hair, blue eyes and he kinda looks like them. It would be believable that Skyler could be the long lost brother to each of them."

Kristy and Gabrielle played Dawn and Clara Sue Cutler and Brian of course, played Phillip Cutler. These were the main characters of the show. If Skyler got the part of Logan Cutler he'd be another main character of the show. That would mean a bit of stardom for him he supposed. The show was established. It'd been running for over two years now. It was almost to the end of its third season, and the fact that they were holding auditions told everyone that the show would return for another season at least.

"He will, actually," said Shelly as she studied Skyler. "He doesn't look like them exactly but the resemblance will work. Skyler could be a Cutler."

"Well thank you for that observation," laughed Skyler. "I don't think I'd actually want to be one of them though. Playing one would be another matter."

"Listen to him," laughed Mark. "He doesn't even watch the show and he wants to be on it."

"I didn't want the part until I actually auditioned for it," admitted Skyler. "I had no idea how exciting it was going to be to even audition."

"Yeah, Mark told me that you weren't sure you were even going to do the audition," said Shelly.

"Well I was committed to the audition," explained Skyler. "I gave Dianne my word that I would do it."

When they got back to the dorm there was a message for Skyler taped to their door. Laura Ullman had called and he was to return her call. A phone number was provided. Mark smiled excitedly when Skyler explained who Laura Ullman was but Skyler just shook his head and walked back down to the phone.

"Skyler," said Laura's voice on the other end of the connection. "Milton wants you to come back in tomorrow morning. Is that all right?"

"Sure," said Skyler, feeling his heart begin to race. "What time?"

"Same time you came in this morning," she said. "We won't keep you waiting tomorrow though. You'll be the only one there to see us."

"Did I get the part?" he asked, wondering why he'd be the only one there to see them.

"We'll discuss that when we're all together," she said. "So I'll see you at the hotel at nine tomorrow morning?"

"Sure thing," he replied. "I'll be there."

"Goodnight, Skyler," she said, and he returned the sentiment before hanging up the telephone.

He stood there looking at the phone for a few minutes. What did this mean? They wanted him to come back in the next morning and he'd be the only one waiting to see them. Laura wouldn't say if he'd gotten the part or not but why else would they want him to come back in? He'd heard about call backs to redo the audition but if they were simply doing call backs, then why would he be the only one there to see them?

"Well? What did she say?" breathed Mark when Skyler got back to their room. "Did you get the part?"

"I don't know yet," replied Skyler, sitting down on his bed and leaning back on his elbows. "I have to go back in tomorrow morning."

"You got a call back!" cried Mark. "That's awesome."

"Yeah but why would I be the only one they're calling back?" asked Skyler. "She said I'd be the only one to see them in the morning."

"That is strange," agreed Mark, but he suddenly looked excited. "It probably means that you got the part!"

"I guess I'll find out in the morning," sighed Skyler.

* * *

At nine the next morning Skyler was once again in the banquette room at the Hilton Hotel. This time though, his wait was almost nonexistent. He was happy for that because his stomach felt like it might evacuate his breakfast at any moment. He'd woke up nervous that morning and it had just gotten worse the closer to nine the hands on the clock got. Now he was ready to explode from nerves.

He was surprised to see a few different faces when he was let into the room he'd auditioned in the day before. Of course the camera was gone and along with it the young guy who was working it, but he didn't recognize any of the faces in the room that morning other than Laura Ullman and Milton Drake. Brian Krause wasn't even in the room with them that morning.

"Skyler, I'm glad you could come back this morning," said Milton Drake once Skyler was seated next to Laura across from everyone.

"Thank you," replied Skyler, reaching across the table to shake Milton's outstretched hand.

"Let me introduce you to everyone," he said, smiling at him.

First there was Jack Wellman, one of the writers for the show. He was an older gentleman with unruly gray hair and dark eyes. He smiled at Skyler and expressed his pleasure in meeting him. He was everything Skyler would have thought of a writer. His clothes looked comfortable but didn't match, he wore his glasses on the end of his nose and he kept drumming the table with is fingertips as if he were banging away at a keyboard.

Next there was Francis Powell. She was Milton's assistant and she smiled at Skyler when he shook her hand. She looked to be in her early thirties with curly blond hair that tumbled over her shoulders and sea green eyes. She reminded him of someone but he couldn't put his finger on who it was. It would come to him he thought.

"You know Laura," said Milton once Jack and Francis had been introduced.

"Skyler, I'm going to be acting as your agent today if that's all right with you," she said, looking at him. "You told us that you don't have one and I am an agent, so I thought I'd help you out today. It will be just this one time unless we decide to make it a more permanent arrangement later OK?"

"Thank you," he said before turning to look at Milton again.

"Skyler, we want to offer you the part of Logan Cutler," said Milton. "Now Laura has a copy of the contract for you and she can explain anything that you don't understand. We discussed the contract last night in great length and I assure you that Laura is looking out for your best interests. She represented you just as aggressively as she does any of her clients."

Skyler was stunned. He had convinced himself that he wasn't going to get the part and now Milton had just told him that he had, in fact, gotten the part. Laura was showing him the contract and as he read through it, he noticed the amount he would be paid for every episode he filmed. His eyes nearly popped out of his head when he read that figure. Two hundred, seventy-five thousand dollars for each episode!

"There are six episodes left to film until we tackle the season finale," Laura told him. "The contract is for twelve episodes plus the season finale and season premiere. After the contract is up if you want out, there'll be no questions asked. If you wish to continue your role and the studio agrees, another contract will be drawn up with a more permanent sounding outline."

Skyler just stared at her for a few minutes before going back to looking over the contract. When he did another figure jumped off the page at him. The contract stated that for the two hour season finale he would be paid a sum of six hundred thousand dollars. He would be paid that sum again for the season premiere when filming resumed in August. He couldn't believe it. He'd never even seen more than a thousand dollars at one time in his entire life. Now he was going to make more money than anyone he knew!

"Are the figures not to your liking?" asked Milton as Skyler stared, stunned, at the contract.

"The figures are fine," he finally managed to reply. "I was just shocked at how much I'm going to be paid."

"Welcome to the show," Milton laughed.

Skyler stayed and discussed more of the contract with Laura after Milton, Jack and Francis left the room. She explained to him that he was going to have to be in New York by the end of the week. He had to start filming the following Monday morning. He told her that he needed to let the college know what he was doing and she offered to help.

"Some colleges have special advantages for cases like this," she explained. "I don't know if yours does this or not, but most of the colleges around here have an out of class study program where you can take the class wherever you are and send off for tests and quizzes. You get the same grades you would have if you were actually in the college."

"I don't know anything about that," he admitted.

"Well I'll call your advisor's office tomorrow morning and find out," she said. "If they have a program like that, would you be interested in it?"

"Oh definitely," he said quickly. "I want my degree."

"Smart man," she said with a smile. "I'll see what I can do."

An hour later Skyler Tomas, television actor, was sitting in the campus laundry on the other side of campus from his dorm. He was sitting in a badly scarred green plastic chair, thinking about the irony of knowing that he would be making so much money and sitting in the laundry. He still couldn't believe they were going to pay him that much money. He wished Mark wasn't working that day so he could tell him. In all truth doing his laundry was the only thing Skyler could do to keep himself calm.

He sat there staring at the spinning clothes in the dryer in front of him. He could hear the laughter and conversations going on around him but he paid them no mind. He could smell the familiar fumes of detergent, bleach and fabric softener in the air of the laundry, and he could feel the hard plastic chair under him but all of this, like everything else since he'd crawled nervously out of bed that morning, seemed unreal to him. He believed that he was dreaming and his alarm clock would wake him soon.

He thought about going to the advisor's office after he did his laundry to tell them that he would be leaving for New York on Friday. He still couldn't believe that he'd be leaving Friday. New York! He'd never been anywhere other than to college in his life. Up until he'd come to college he hadn't left Detroit in his young life. What a difference an audition can make he thought and laughed out loud.

After he'd put his laundry in the dorm room he went to the bank and closed his savings account. He didn't tell them that he was leaving for New York or that he got a part in a television show. He went to the post office and gained a box there to send his mail to. He'd have to ask Mark or Linda to pick up his mail he guessed. Next he took a cab to a storage facility as close to campus as he could find and paid the first two months on a medium sized storage shed. There were some things that he just couldn't take to New York with him.

Once all of that was done he went back to his room to start going through things to decide what went to New York and what went to storage. Mark still wasn't home and he had yet to run into Linda again. He thought that he might go nuts if someone didn't come around so he could tell them that he'd gotten the part. He was a little worried about what Mark would say about his leaving school on Friday for good though. He didn't know if he would find another roommate this late.

With everything sorted the room was a mess. He still had yet to put together his boxes so everything was still sitting in stacks all over the room. He sat on his bed and put the boxes together while he thought about what it would be like to live in New York. It was the largest city in America as far as he knew and he didn't know how he'd find his way around in it. He hoped that cab fare there wasn't too expensive. Then he realized that he was going to have plenty of money. Then he was laughing again.

After everything was in boxes he stacked them on his bed in two sections to keep what was going separate from what was staying. He thought about asking Linda if they could use her truck to move the things that weren't going to New York but he still hadn't seen her truck in the parking lot. He wondered where everyone was. It was like something big was happening that he didn't know about or something.

Someone had to come home soon. He'd have his chance to share his excitement then. He occupied himself with a book. He had to sit at the desk because his bed was full of boxes. He wasn't really interested in the book but he did his best to read it anyway. He got more than half way into it before there was a knock at his door. He jumped up, dropping the book and ran to the door. Maybe it was Linda, come to find out how the audition went. He opened the door to confront a guy he had only seen around the dorm. He looked at him in confusion for a second.

"What can I do for you?" he finally asked.

"Are you Skyler Thomas or Mark Sanders?" asked the blond haired, blue eyed shirtless guy. He was built like one of the jocks and his upper body was covered with a light sheen of sweat.

"I'm Skyler," he replied, dragging his eyes away from the guy's sweaty torso and back up to his blue eyes.

"There's a phone call for you," said the guy before he pivoted on his heel and sprinted down the hall.

Skyler locked the door and went down to the phone. He had no idea who could be calling. He hoped it wasn't from home. Cassie and Chad only called when something was wrong. If something was wrong in Detroit he didn't know what he would be able to do to help them. He grew more nervous as he raced down the stairs. His nerves were abated however when he heard Laura on the phone.

"I'm glad you were home," she said. "I wanted to drop by and give you your copy of the contract. Is this a good time?"

"Sure, I was just reading," he replied. "I'm waiting for a friend to come home so I can take some boxes to my storage shed."

"How many boxes?" she asked. "I have an SUV right now. Maybe I can help."

"That'd be cool," said Skyler. "There are only six boxes right now. I'm waiting on my room mate to see if he wants to keep the desk and my dresser."

"Well I'm on my way to you," she said. "I'll be there in about ten minutes."

"I'll be here," he said. "I'll wait outside for you."

"See you soon, Skyler," she said before ending the phone call.

As Skyler was coming back down the stairs from getting his book he ran into Mark. Mark looked tired and he always liked to shower after work, but Skyler wanted to talk to him so bad. He begged Mark to come downstairs and wait for Laura with him. He wouldn't explain anything at first, but once they were actually sitting on the steps he couldn't hold it back.

"I got the part, Mark," he finally said. Mark looked at him blankly for a moment.

"If this is a joke, Sky . . ."

"Its no joke," he laughed. "Laura Ullman, my agent, is on her way here to drop off my copy of the contract I signed this morning. She's going to help me take some things to my new storage shed."

"Storage shed?" asked Mark. "You have an agent?"

"Slow down," laughed Skyler. "Yes I have an agent. At least for this deal I do. I rented a storage shed this morning after the meeting so I could store some of the stuff I can't take with me."

Mark sat down beside him and sighed. This was all a bit much for him. He'd wanted Skyler to get the part but he'd never thought about the fact that getting the part meant moving to New York. Of course he knew the show was filmed there. He and Shelly made it a point to know all they could about the show. He was happy for Skyler but he didn't want to lose his friend.

"What's wrong?" asked Skyler, looking worried.

"Nothing's wrong," replied Mark. "I'm happy for you, Sky. I just hadn't thought about what would happen when you got the part. I guess I just didn't think about it enough. When do you leave?"

"I leave for New York Friday morning," Skyler replied. "I've packed up almost all of my stuff. I just didn't know what to do with my desk and dresser. There's room in my shed for them but I thought you might like to keep those."

"Gosh, Sky," said Mark, looking at him strangely. "You aren't wasting any time, huh?"

"I'm sorry about that," said Skyler, blushing. "I was excited and I needed something to keep me busy until someone came for me to talk to. Oh, I did your laundry too."

"You did my laundry?" laughed Mark. "Well I guess you were excited."

"You have no idea," said Skyler as a white SUV pulled into the parking lot. "That's Laura."

The boys walked over as she parked and when Laura got out she smiled at them. She held up Skyler's copy of the contract and Mark took it. He laughed when Skyler tried to take it from him. They two playfully pushed and shoved each other for a few minutes while Laura watched them. She smiled as she watched and she wondered if Mark had ever thought about acting.

"Thanks, Laura," said Skyler once he got the contract away from Mark. "This knucklehead is my room mate, Mark Sanders. Mark, this is Laura Ullman."

"Pleasure," said Mark, shaking Laura's hand. "I'm a little dirty from work. Please excuse me."

"Not a problem, Mark," she said. "I was just wondering if you'd ever thought about trying your hand at acting."

"I've never even tried to act before," laughed Mark. "In high school I was only interested in swimming."

"Well," she said, handing him a card. "If you change your mind give me a call. I also handle models. Just a thought."

"Thanks," said Mark as he put the card in his back pocket.

"Now where are these boxes of yours, Skyler?" she asked, turning to face him.

"I'll go lug them down the stairs," he laughed.

"I'll help," she said, following the boys into the dorm.

In less than a minute they had all of the boxes in the back of the SUV and Mark told Skyler that he'd shower while they rode over to the storage. He told him that he wanted to celebrate with him when they got back. Then Skyler rode off with Laura, leaving his friend to get cleaned up. He was still laughing when they pulled out of the parking lot.

"So you and Mark are pretty close?" asked Laura as she drove.

"We met at the beginning of the year," said Skyler. "We've gotten pretty close since. I'm glad though. If I'd had a roommate that hated me life would have been no better here."

"No better?" she asked, and Skyler sighed. He hadn't meant to let that slip.

"Well life wasn't exactly perfect for me in Detroit," he said, hoping that she'd let it drop.

"Skyler, there's nothing in your past that's going to haunt you in the press is there?" she asked.

"Nothing like that," he said. "Just family problems."

They transferred the boxes from the SUV to the storage shed in a matter of minutes. Laura told him that the shed was good thinking. That way once he was settled in New York he could send for his things, and Mark could ship them to him. He hadn't thought that far ahead but he agreed that it was a good idea.

"So what should I expect in New York?" he asked. "Where will I live?"

"I've been taking care of that," she said. "There is an apartment waiting for you not far from the studio. I can arrange for you to have a car and driver as long as you give me an hour's notice but it will cost. I've got the studio to pay your rent on the apartment throughout the summer. After that you'll be responsible for that as well."

"It sounds like you've thought of everything," he said with a chuckle.

"That's my job, Skyler," she said, smiling at him. "I take care of my clients."

"Do you think that you'd like to be my agent permanently?" he asked her.

"Well from what I've heard you've got talent," she said, glancing at him as she drove. "You already have a job so I don't have to search for work on your behalf. I'd say you're the perfect client. So if you want to sign an agreement we can take care of that in New York."

"Sounds good to me," he said. "I was happy that you took care of everything at the meeting. I didn't know what to say or do."

"That'll all come with time, Skyler," she said. "You'll get the hang of it. The most important thing to remember is to smile a lot."

"I can do that," he laughed.

"Ok there's a ticket reserved for you at the airport for Friday morning," she said. "Your flight leaves at eight so be there fairly early. How many boxes were you taking with you?"

"Just three," he replied. "I'll also have two suitcases and a carry on bag."

"That shouldn't be a problem," she said. "Just don't pick up too many new items before you leave or you'll have to have Mark ship them to you."

"Deal," he said.

She dropped him off at the dorm, telling him that she would meet him at the airport in New York when his plane landed. Her own flight back left at nine the next morning. She assured him that he would be fine and congratulated him one more time before she left. He stood there watching her drive off until she was out of sight. Then he sighed and went inside the dorm.

When he got up to his room Shelly, Mark and Linda were waiting for him. The girls surrounded him, congratulating him and asking rapid questions. He laughed and tried to keep up but in the end it was Mark that put a stop to the inquiry. He announced that they were taking Skyler out to celebrate and there was to be no argument.

They piled into Linda's truck and headed off to the diner. Skyler insisted that was where he wanted to eat. They always ate there and he thought that a celebration anywhere else in LA would have just been wrong. Mark got him to agree to going out for drinks after they ate so it wasn't as if his only stop would be the diner.

"Well hello everyone," said Dianne when they got to the diner. Skyler was glad that she was there because he'd been wanting to tell her about the part since the meeting that morning.

"Dianne, I got the part!" he gasped when he saw her. "I leave for New York Friday morning, and I'm going to start filming next Monday."

"Congratulations, Skyler!" she cried, throwing her arms around him and holding him tight.

"I came by for lunch today after the meeting but you weren't here," he explained.

"I switched with Mary so I could see my daughter before she left to go back to Oregon," explained Dianne. "You didn't tell Mary?"

"I wasn't telling anyone until I saw you, Mark or Linda," he laughed. "I held it in all day long!"

"He was a busy boy," said Mark with a chuckle. "He even did my laundry."

"My my," laughed Dianne. "I'm guessing you guys want a table."

"We sure do," said Mark. "We're celebrating."

"And you came here," she said, smiling. "I love you guys. Follow me."

She seated them in the center of the diner and everyone around them congratulated Skyler, asked what kind of part he got, and expressed interest in seeing him on the show. Skyler didn't know when his first episode would air. He hadn't even started filming yet. He tried to explain that but he was still uncomfortable with all of the attention. It actually embarrassed him to be the center of attention. He wondered how he was ever going to get used to it.

"You're a natural," laughed Shelly. "You should see yourself."

"What do you mean?" he asked, leaning forward in his seat to listen to her answer.

"You blush but you at least look like you care about every question and every person who asks," said Linda. "Its really nice. I hope you don't lose that charm when fame gets a hold on you."

When their food arrived everyone left them alone to eat. Skyler didn't order anything different than he did any other time they were at the diner and Ned McLintock said he was going to make a dish out of what Skyler always ordered and call it The Skyler Thomas Special. They all got a laugh out of that but Skyler blushed again. Everyone had a laugh about that as well.

By the time they left Skyler had promised to visit the diner any time he was back in LA. He did remind both Dianne and Ned that he wasn't leaving LA until Friday, and he planned to eat at least one meal a day in that diner. He got hugs from Dianne and Donna, who was working in the kitchen before he got out of the diner and they headed off to a club for drinks and dancing.

They stopped in at a club that none of them had ever been to before called The Steam Pit. There was a huge dance floor and the drinks weren't outrageously priced. Of course Mark, Shelly and Skyler were only drinking soda, but they had a great time any way. Skyler loved to dance, and Linda loved to dance with him.

"So buddy, what do you think of Linda?" asked Mark when Skyler came back to the table after dancing with Linda for a while.

"What do you mean?" Skyler asked, taking a drink of his soda to cover his discomfort with the question.

"She likes you, Sky," said Mark. "You can't be so blind that you don't see that."

"She's like a sister or something, Mark," said Skyler, trying hard not to blush. "Every time I look at her I think of my little sister Cassie. I couldn't."

"Well you'd better not tell her that you feel that way," said Mark. "She's into you big time. Just let her think that you don't know."

He did notice that she danced a little closer to him than she probably should have and her hands were almost all over him on the dance floor. It made him uncomfortable but he tried not to let her see that. They danced through most of the night and by last call he was so tired he knew he'd have no trouble falling asleep.

When he said goodnight to Linda at the dorms she did kiss his cheek. He hugged her tight but didn't kiss her back. He noticed Mark watching the whole time before he walked Shelly to her dorm. He had to make sure that he didn't slip up before he left. These were his friends and he didn't want them to hate him. Being in New York wouldn't change the fact that he considered them family. He didn't want to lose that.

Throughout the rest of the week many people that Skyler didn't know came up to him and congratulated him. Everyone seemed to know his name and though he was uncomfortable with the attention, he smiled at them and answered each question that was thrown at him. News was spreading and he knew there was nothing he could do to stop it. He decided he might as well get used to the attention anyway. He'd be getting a lot more of it soon enough.

Thursday afternoon while Mark was at work, Skyler called home again. He got his mother this time but she didn't seem the least bit excited to hear that he had gotten a part on the show, and she sounded even less happy to hear from him. Cassie was ecstatic however. She watched the show faithfully, and she said she couldn't wait to tell all of her friends. She laughed like crazy when she remembered that she could be the first to tell Chad when he came home later that day.

Thursday night Skyler and Mark spent a quiet night in their room, talking. Skyler was really going to miss Mark, and Mark expressed the same sentiment to Skyler. The two had gotten pretty close since becoming roommates and Skyler didn't have many close friends. He'd had friends in Detroit but with his situation at home, none of them were ever invited to his house to spend any time with him. That meant that he only saw them in school and that wasn't conductive to building close, lasting friendships.

"It's going to be strange not having you here every day, you know?" said Mark, looking around at the nearly empty room.

"It's going to be strange waking up in the morning without hearing you in the shower or seeing your running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to find your books," said Skyler. "I'm going to miss you like crazy."

"We'll have to write letters and call each other all of the time," said Mark. "I expect weekly updates, Mister."

"I bet everyone will just love running up here all of the time to fetch you when I call," laughed Skyler. They'd been asked repeatedly to either install a phone in their room or get cell phones.

"Yeah, well I guess I can get a phone put in here," said Mark, looking around the room again. "I never had anyone that I wanted to call me before."

"What about Shelly?" asked Skyler.

"Shelly doesn't call," laughed Mark. "She comes over."

"True," he laughed.

"Sky, can I ask you something personal?" asked Mark, looking at his friend with a careful expression.

"Sure," replied Skyler, worrying about what the question would be.

"What happened with you and your folks?" asked Mark, and Skyler let out a breath that he hadn't been aware that he was holding.

"I don't really know," he admitted. "One day everything was almost like normal and then Chuck started to get mad at me all of the time. I tried so hard to figure out what I was doing wrong so I could stop doing it, but I never figured that part out."

"When did it start?" Mark probed gently.

"When I was five or six," said Skyler. "I remember the very first day that Chuck started to yell at me. I remember the first time he ever hit me too. Over the years things just got worse at home and I couldn't wait to escape to college. I worked hard in school and got the best grades. I kept my room clean and helped my mom keep the house clean, but nothing I did was ever good enough for Chuck."

"What about the twins?" asked Mark. "Was he ever mean to them?"

"Yes. I can't do anything about it though. The one time I tried my mother just lied for him," replied Skyler. "Cassie and Chad swear that Chuck doesn't yell at them unless it's necessary, and he's not hurting them now that I'm gone."

"Don't you think that's strange?" asked Mark. "I mean why would he stop yelling at them and hurting them when you left?"

"I've asked myself that question a million times," admitted Skyler. "I've never been able to answer it. Why the sudden interest in my home life?"

"I don't know," sighed Mark, looking away from him. "Maybe because in a lot of ways it was just like mine. My relationship with my father is horrible. My mom and I get along but it's always hanging between us that she didn't step in even one time when things got bad between me and Dad."

"Your father's in jail, right?" asked Skyler. He thought that Mark had told him that his father had been arrested, but he couldn't remember the reason for his arrest.

"Yeah," said Mark, looking away from him. "He was arrested three days before I left to come here."

"What was he arrested for?" asked Skyler, but he worried that maybe it was the wrong question to ask. Everyone had their secrets, and everyone included him.

"Why have you never had a girlfriend since you came here?" Mark countered, looking straight at Skyler.

Skyler looked away from his friend. In the silence that stretched after that question he thought about what to say to Mark. He couldn't feed him the same old lies about having no time. Mark clearly knew that wasn't true. The two of them lived together in that room all year long, and he had to have known that Skyler didn't spend nearly as much time studying as he claimed to. He didn't know what to say at that point. He was too afraid of what Mark would say if he told him the truth.

"Mark," he started, and then he stopped. He couldn't look at him and he couldn't admit the truth to him. He didn't know what to say. Before he even knew what was happening tears were running down his cheeks. His shoulders began to shake as sobs rocked his body, and he was more scared than he'd ever been in his life.

He'd never told another living soul that he was gay. No one had ever asked other than Chuck, who just liked to call him a fag when he hit him. He had no desire to be persecuted like the gay people that he'd seen before. Someone was always calling them names or doing something to hurt them. He didn't want to be one of those people. He didn't think he could stand it if anyone said or did things to him because of something he couldn't control.

God knew he'd tried to control it. He'd tried so hard to see more than human beauty in females for years. He'd worked hard to avert his eyes when he was in the gym showers after class in high school. He'd tried not to think of his male classmates as attractive, but it was always no use. Even with Mark he'd tried to ignore his attraction all year long.

Mark would walk around the room completely nude at times, and he had no idea that it drove Skyler nuts. He knew that Mark was probably used to being nude in front of other guys from his years on the swim team. He would have had to get used to being nude around his teammates in the locker room and such. Each time Skyler had done everything he could not to stare at him.

Being naked with other men was harder still. He had to focus all of his attention on making sure that he didn't get an erection. He thought of math problems, ugly people and anything else that he could to make sure that he didn't embarrass himself or give himself away. So many ways to hide what he really was, and now Mark was asking him the question.

The sudden movement in the bed caused Skyler to jerk. He and Mark were sitting on Mark's bed with Mark against the headboard and Skyler leaning against the wall. Now Mark had closed the distance between them, and his arms went around Skyler as he sobbed. He held him with tenderness and said nothing. Skyler didn't lean against him or pull away. He allwed Mark to hold him but he refused to make even the smallest movement to either encourage or discourage him. He'd asked a question, and Skyler had to think.

"It's all right, Sky," Mark whispered. "You don't have to tell me. The answer has to be one of two things, and I know enough about you to understand that you aren't ready to answer me. I want you to know that no matter what your answer is I'm your friend. Nothing will ever change that, Sky. Not your past, not sexuality, nothing.

"I'll answer your question though," he continued in a toneless voice. "My father was finally arrested after years of molesting me. My mother knew about it of course, but she did nothing to stop it. Why? I don't know. Maybe she was afraid of him. There could be a number of reasons, but none of them are good enough. I turned him in when I caught him with my little brother, Sky. I could finally stand up to him but not for myself, you see? I couldn't do it for myself, but Jesse was innocent. He was just a ten year old boy, and I'm his big brother. I had to protect him even though it meant defying a man I'd been terrified of for most of my life."

Both young men were silent, and the only sound that could be heard at first was the sounds of Skyler's sobs. Slowly, Mark added his own sobs to Skyler's and they were both crying. It was in that moment that Skyler stopped trying to remain rigid and leaned on Mark as Mark leaned on him. He'd told him his darkest secret. Could Skyler tell him his? He'd guarded his secret for so long that he didn't know how to tell Mark now. He felt that he owed it to his friend to be honest after he'd told him something so personal and scarring.

"I'm gay, Mark," he whispered through his sobs.

Fear like he'd never known before gripped him as soon as those three words were out of his mouth. The secret was out now. He'd told someone. He'd actually admitted it out loud with no sidestepping or witty words to hide the real facts. He'd told Mark his secret, and now it was all up to Mark to show Skyler if he was a real friend who could accept him for what he was or not. Skyler prayed that Mark would be a real friend. He hoped that Mark could accept it and understand that it wasn't all there was to Skyler. It was only a small part of him. It was only his sexuality.

It was only his sexuality. Skyler hoped that Mark could understand that it was a part of him that couldn't be changed. It was no different really than Mark's heterosexuality. He couldn't change himself into a homosexual any more than Skyler could change himself into a heterosexual. He prayed that his friend would understand that and accept him, but he wasn't prepared for what Mark said next.

"I thought I was gay for a long time too," said Mark. "I absolutely believed it until I actually tried to have sex with a guy willingly. It didn't work out, and all I could think of was that I felt so dirty and wrong."

He fell silent after that, and Skyler was sure that a judgment was coming after that admission. He'd said that he felt dirty and wrong. That probably meant that he thought Skyler was dirty and wrong. It would be exactly what Skyler was afraid of hearing his friend say to him. He tried to prepare himself to accept that opinion from Mark and cried harder.

"I know that I'm not gay now," Mark went on after a few minutes. "I love Shelly with all of my heart, and I'll probably marry her one day. I hope I'll marry her one day. I hope that she loves me the way that I love her."

Skyler pulled away from his friend, sure that he was just trying to avoid saying what he wanted to say about him. He sat up straight in the bed and looked away from Mark. Trying to stop the flow of his tears would have been pointless though. It hurt so much to know that Mark couldn't accept him. He wished that he could have lied again, but he was so tired of lying to Mark about it. He was so tired of hiding it from one of the most important people in his life.

"I'm sorry," he breathed between sobs.

"Sky, no," said Mark, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Don't be sorry for anything. Never be sorry, Sky. There's nothing wrong with being gay. I was just telling you that I let my father make me think I was gay for a very long time. I don't know exactly what went on between you and Chuck, but I suspect that for you it's more than a belief that you are gay. I want you to know that it doesn't matter to me at all, Sky. You're my closest friend in the world, and nothing can change that but you."

"Nothing sexual ever happened between me and Chuck," Skyler said after digesting what Mark had said. He wanted to be happy about the fact that Mark still wanted to be his friend, but he was still getting over the shock of actually telling Mark the truth about himself.

"The abuse was just physical?" asked Mark.

"And mental," he replied, finally turning to look at his friend. "He wanted to destroy me I think."

"The important thing is that he didn't," said Mark. "You are a great guy, Skyler Thomas. Chuck O'Malley couldn't take that from you, and I don't think anyone can. At least I hope no one can."

"You really don't hate me?" Skyler asked him.

"Hate you?" It was said as if it was the strangest thing that Mark had ever heard in his life. "Why would I hate you for being gay, Sky?"

"I always thought everyone would hate me if I told the truth," he sighed, scrubbing at his tear soaked eyes with his balled fists.

"Well I don't hate you," said Mark. "You're like a brother to me, Sky. I don't know how you got so close to me this year but you did. I'm going to miss you when you leave tomorrow, and nothing will ever change the way I feel about you."

"Thank you, Mark," said Skyler softly. He couldn't look him in the eye and say it, though.

"You don't have to thank me, Sky," said Mark. "I shouldn't have pushed you to tell me though. I have suspected for a long time, but I had no right to push you like that. I won't ever tell anyone unless you tell me I can, Sky."

"You suspected?" asked Skyler, stunned. He'd thought he'd hid the fact very well. If Mark had suspected then maybe he wasn't as good at pretending as he thought. If he couldn't hide that then how could he ever hope to convince anyone of anything?

"Oh you can't live with some one in such close quarters and not notice things, Sky," he said. "You had no girlfriend, and I knew that your study excuse was bullshit. You never talked about any girls that you thought were attractive and when I did, you only said what you thought you were supposed to say. I don't think anyone else would suspect. Another homosexual might, but I doubt it."

That worked to assuage Skyler's fear of not being able to hide it, and the two friends talked about everything after that. Mark told him all about what had happened with his father over the years, and Skyler told him all about Chuck. He told him how scared he was for his little brother and sister, and he admitted for the first time even to himself, that he hated his mother for letting everything go on the way it did for so long. He told him how she always tried to make him feel bad when he called by telling him that she wasn't happy to hear from him or that he shouldn't call home so much.

By the time both of them were ready to go to sleep they were both exhausted from sharing so much heartache and horror with each other. Skyler fell into a deep sleep and thankfully, he didn't dream.


The Next Chapter Will Be Posted Soon.


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